I’ve been meaning to write a blurb about this book; I just finally finished the last of it after putting it down for some time. I liked the layout, being organized into short chunks with each being written by one of the six contributors (John Piper, Voddie Bacham, D.A. Carson, Tim Keller, Mark Driscoll, and David Wells) in essay form. Though the whole book was well written and the contents of the individual essays complemented each other well- I think the high spots of this book are John Piper’s essay on “Joy and the Supremacy of Christ” and Tim Keller’s essay on “The Gospel and the Supremacy of Christ”.

After sourcing a classic Martin-Llyod Jones sermon from the 1950’s that was eerily prophetic of the cultural and spiritual position the American church finds herself in, Keller lays out 6 points for how the church will have to change to address the fact that she is now a church on a mission field:

  • Gospel Theologizing – Doing a better job of communicating the Gospel that includes both salvation from wrath by propitiation of sin AND the restoration of all things, two seemingly dissconnected themes that are in actuality inseperable. I love how Keller articulates that the Gospel is like the hub of the wheel that all our theological spokes derive from, that it is central to everything we do theologically. Personally, I think that viewpoint is absent from much of preaching and teaching today.
  • Gospel Realizing – Ripe with methors, Keller explains why we have to beat the Gospel into our own heads continually, and be transformed by it ourselves, to be equipped to share that that gospel of grace with others.
  • Gospel Urbanizing – Until Christians embrace cities, and live and work in them in the same ratios as other groups, we can’t expect change to happen in these cities which are the leaders in culture for the rest of the nation.
  • Gospel Communication – What Keller is arguing for is a more process oriented means of communicating the Gospel to move someone from full ignorance of Christianity to full embrace; 1) intelligibility, 2) credibility, 3)plausability, and 4) intimacy. Keller points out that many well-intentioned evangelism programs assume a Christianized background and move quickly to arrive at the “intimacy”, but that this is no longer sufficient.
  • Gospel Humiliation – Until something in your life breaks your self-righteous and pride, you may say you believe the Gospel, but you aren’t a sign of the Gospel yourself yet.
  • Gospel Incarnation – Christians need to neither assimilate or withdraw from culture, rather to remain distinct but engaged. Keller says “We don’t love the postmodern world like we should. We create out subculture and invite people to join us inside, but we don’t pour ourselves out in love and service to our cities.”

More on this book later, if I have the time. I only touched on the points Keller made, so by all means, go buy this book and see what all he has to say on the subject.